For Peace to Be Universal, It Must Be Practical
by Rev. Trish Hall
One of my favorite prayers of all the prayers Dr. Holmes wrote is his “Prayer for Universal Peace.” Instead of just reading it or immersing in it, I realized it could be used as a practical guide to establishing universal Peace.
A universal prayer for the good of all mankind, to bring peace to our hearts, to our homes, to our minds and to our souls, from today to eternity.
Now is the time to ask ourselves, “What is mine to do to bring about Peace for all?” “How am I to be as a catalyst for peace?” It feels like I was born with a passion for Peace. As a little kid, I was a peacemaker. Generally, I was shy – maybe even timid – yet, if there was discord, courage arose within me and I stepped into whatever was going on proclaiming that everyone needed to “stop being mean to one another.” That was before I learned that such behavior was potentially dangerous and I learned that it was safer to not speak up. That constricted behavior dominated me for many years, until I remembered that what was imbued in that child hadn’t gone away, it had just gone into hiding. My passion for peace was still alive and well, and showing up in other ways.
So I ask you, “How is your desire for peace making itself known to you? How is Spirit calling you to make a difference?”
“Infinite Spirit, bring peace and good will to all peoples.”
When I awakened … or rather, when Infinite Spirit re-awakened me to Its presence in, as, around, through and throughout me, that Spirit that had shown its radiance as me as a child, I reconnected with the Truth. I realized that the courage I had felt as a child was an other-than-conscious awareness that it was Spirit-as-me, that stepped up as the peacemaker and that Spirit-as-me, is me now and always. As time has past I have become more and more keenly aware of various forms of violence (sometimes subtle and sometimes overt), of pre-judgments skewing perceptions, of assumptions and presumptions that result in an array of inequities.
So I ask you, “Are you alert? Do you notice inequities and micro-aggressions that often are not so micro? When they occur, how do you address them to assure good will to all peoples in a peaceable manner?”
“Direct the pathway of every nation into unity, happiness and prosperity.”
Each of us, by our daily thoughts and actions can be catalysts for change. We may feel that our individual voices don’t make a difference and yet, as Margaret Meade stated, “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens [individuals like you and me] can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
So I ask you to ask yourself, “What is mine to do? Am I a letter-writer or call-maker? Am I an organizer calling together others desiring changes that are inclusive and uplifting to assure happiness and prosperity for all?”
“Remove the thought of fear and greed from the mind of man.”
Fear and greed are the lowest yet highly effective motivational forms and alas, they are most common. Fear underlies anger and very often expresses as greed – fear that there isn’t enough to go around which shows up as hoarding. Because these two are often very deeply rooted, they present an especially tenacious challenge. Teaching and preaching about abundance tends to fall on deaf ears. The person experiencing the lack, gets caught in contrasts – “they have everything and we do not,” is thrust at them from all directions. We talk about the unlimited givingness of God, yet why does it appear that that givingness is not equal.
So I ask you to ask yourself, “How am I modeling the unlimited givingness of God? How have I dealt with my own thoughts of lack?” Can you see yourself modeling and sharing so others may prosper? If not, what’s stopping you? If so, go for it! Be creative! Share your ideas and collaborate with others so that together we can break the cycles of poverty and inequity.
“Let every thought of hate be turned to love, every thought of fear be turned to faith, every thought of doubt be turned to certainty, every thought of war be turned to peace.”
This is where we must take a deep dive into practical spirituality. Drawing on Principle, living it day by day, we know that every behavior can be transformed. Hate cannot coexist with Love so we must be the presence of Love in all situations. Doubt is put to rest in the presence of spiritual certainty, another name for faith. Fear recedes when enveloped in faith. We must model how it is to live as Peace and invite others into our experience.
“Heal the wounds of the world and bring peace upon the face of the earth.”
We are the peacemakers, the healers. As individuations of Spirit, we come into this world bearing everything we might need to fulfill this prayer. As a child I knew it and then, for a time, I forgot … I lost touch with the boldness of my passion for peace. I have grown back into the courage of my childhood, and I invite you to join me. We are here to live the Prayer of Saint Francis:
Lord, make me an instrument of your peace:
where there is hatred, let me sow love;
where there is injury, pardon;
where there is doubt, faith;
where there is despair, hope;
where there is darkness, light;
where there is sadness, joy.
O divine Master, grant that I may not so much
seek to be consoled as to console,
to be understood as to understand,
to be loved as to love.
For it is in giving that we receive,
it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and
it is in letting go that we are awakened.